The World Series
Bernhard Dreyfuss (1865-1932) was born in Germany to a Jewish-American family that had returned to Germany when the American Civil War broke out. When he was 16, Dreyfuss moved to the US to avoid being drafted into the German army, where conditions for Jews were not very good. Arriving in Kentucky, he lived with his distant relatives, the Bernheim family – famous for their ‘I.W. Harper’ bourbon whiskey – and soon played a key role in their family business. Meanwhile, Dreyfuss fell in love with baseball. He began organizing baseball tournaments for his co-workers, then moved on to organize baseball clubs in Kentucky. In 1889, he bought a stake in the Louisville Colonels, a pro team with the American Association. The following year, his team won the championship (against the Brooklyn team that became the LA Dodgers). After the American Association collapsed, the Colonels moved to the National League. By 1899, Dreyfuss had complete ownership of the Colonels, and also purchased a stake in the Pittsburgh Pirates, which went on to win three championships in a row. At the same time, the American League was becoming ever popular, igniting a “baseball war” between the two major leagues. In 1903, Dreyfuss put together a “peace treaty” between the leagues, and drafted a single set of rules to govern the sport. He also included a set of games that would determine the best baseball team of both leagues, and thus was born the World Series. Dreyfuss continued to play a key role in both the development of baseball, and in American business, until the very end of his life. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, and a monument in his honour still stands at PNC Park, the current home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Words of the Week
Your fellow is your mirror. If your own face is clean, the image you perceive will also be flawless. But should you look upon your fellow man and see a blemish, it is your own imperfection that you are encountering – you are being shown what it is that you must correct within yourself.
– Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov